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2005 Kia Spectra, 2008 Pontiac G6
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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2005 spectra with ~60K miles, recently changed trans fluid, oil and tires. The issue that I have had since getting the car several years ago, is that when I turn on the A/C either on regular or max, it seems to rob all of the power from the engine.

It is the worst when I am starting from a stop at a light, the car slows to a crawl and cannot seem to get over 2000 RPM. Once you get going it will slowly pick up more and more power until I am at full power. When I am driving at at least 30 MPH or more, I seem to have plenty of power. If I turn off the A/C when starting from a stop I suddenly have power again.

Any help with this issue would be appreciated. I really get annoyed come summertime, and typically will "sweat-it-out" rather than have the stupid A/C on and crawl.
 

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1995 Procharged Mustang Cobra -- 2006 Grand Cheorkee limted Hemi.
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You have to understand you don't have a ton of horsepower to begin with, so with the a/c on it will and does eat up some HP. When was the last time you changed your spark plugs? Air filter? If the s/plugs are still the ones from 2005 you need to replace them. Bet that will help with your problem.
 

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2008 Rio LX, 2007 Honda Shadow (Bike)
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74 Posts
Yeah, you may a notice a little given the engine size but I would bet you have another issue going on by your description. My Rio has a 1.6L, even smaller than yours, and I can honestly say I notice very little (if any) power loss with the ac on. If everything is working properly the computer should be able to adjust fuel trim and timing to compensate for the added load.
 

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2008 SpectraSX, 2014 Optima LX,2006 Jeep Liberty, Linux Mint Mate
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How about putting some gauges on the AC system.. You said you bought it a few years ago and I read that as used with a past history...
I have seen where heavily overcharged systems put a strain on ALL AC components and will stall a compressor if too high...
With the low cost "do it yourself" recharge systems and some one looking to make the AC "a little colder" this can happen. The system should have 18~22 oz of R134A in it.

Added :I see that there is a high pressure switch in the "lines" so that probably is not the problem as the system would "cycle" or not run at all...
We have two Specs and neither have high loss of power when running the ACs... I think I'd check the plugs like cobra259 said.
Dave
 

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2005 Kia Spectra, 2008 Pontiac G6
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4 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
I changed the plugs about 8 months ago, but I dont remeber what they were gapped to, what should they be gapped to and what kind of plugs do you recommend?
 

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2005 Kia Spectra, 2008 Pontiac G6
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Discussion Starter #7
I actually bought new with 25 miles on it. The power issue is hit or miss, today it was 96 F and I didnt seem to have hardly any power loss. But the day before it was crawling. I do notice when it does crawl it sounds like it would sound if you choked your mower and then gave it gas, like its sucking for air. I changed the air filter this winter, but air filters have neither fixed or made the problem worse....
 

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You said "it sounds like it would sound if you choked your mower".
The IAC "idle air controller" inside the throttle body is a butterfly valve that adjusts the
air intake "normally" during just idle. "If" it gets carboned up and is stuck partially closed it "would" restrict the air coming into the engine and effect performance. You might want to check it and/or clean it (choke and carb cleaner).
The plugs I believe should be gapped for .039~.043 and ALWAYS use NGK or Nippon Denso plugs... If you are using BOSH high end plugs...KIAs hate them and will run poorly. The gap setting is on a label under the hood.

You said also "The issue that I have had since getting the car several years ago..." then you said "I actually bought new with 25 miles on it" ....several years is like two or three....new would have been six or seven...
Maybe I'm reading the post wrong..Have you had the problem for "several years" or "since getting the car" ? Please clarify...

Also you might want to check for "codes" EVEN if the check engine light is not lit..
AutoZone or Advance Auto will do this for FREE. This might also give us a clue.

Dave
 

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1995 Procharged Mustang Cobra -- 2006 Grand Cheorkee limted Hemi.
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Sounds like you could use a GOOD fuel injector cleaning! And like Dave has said, clean the IAC valve, and the throttle body.
 

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2008 Rio LX, 2007 Honda Shadow (Bike)
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You said "it sounds like it would sound if you choked your mower".
The IAC "idle air controller" inside the throttle body is a butterfly valve that adjusts the
air intake "normally" during just idle. "If" it gets carboned up and is stuck partially closed it "would" restrict the air coming into the engine and effect performance. You might want to check it and/or clean it (choke and carb cleaner).
The plugs I believe should be gapped for .039~.043 and ALWAYS use NGK or Nippon Denso plugs... If you are using BOSH high end plugs...KIAs hate them and will run poorly. The gap setting is on a label under the hood.

You said also "The issue that I have had since getting the car several years ago..." then you said "I actually bought new with 25 miles on it" ....several years is like two or three....new would have been six or seven...
Maybe I'm reading the post wrong..Have you had the problem for "several years" or "since getting the car" ? Please clarify...

Also you might want to check for "codes" EVEN if the check engine light is not lit..
AutoZone or Advance Auto will do this for FREE. This might also give us a clue.

Dave
I bought my 08 Rio brand new and have since replaced the plugs several times. I have used Bosch Platinum exclusively without any issues. I personally think you would be wasting your time replacing them if you did them just 8 months ago, but that's just my opinion. I would also like to point out that the iac valve does not just function at idle. It also operates during deceleration to allow some air through so the engine doesn't stall from the sudden loss of air from the throttle closing. On acceleration this should be out of the picture so I doubt its causing the loss of power during acceleration. I'm not sure if the triple switch handles this function in this system but something has to notify the computer that the ac compressor is engaged so the the fuel trim and timing can be adjusted accordingly. If the computer is not getting this information it could definitely cause what you're experiencing and could be intermittent. I would look into that next. I've personally never seen dirty injectors cause a severe loss of power then suddenly act normal. Just my two cents.
 

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2008 SpectraSX, 2014 Optima LX,2006 Jeep Liberty, Linux Mint Mate
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If the IAC is "stuck" (or gets stuck) at a higher RPM) it sure can cause problems with acceleration. The "special" BOSH plugs with out the outside electrode (fires in all directions) WILL cause problems with Spectras...I've seen it here.. They LIKE NKGs and they cost less also. The triple switch does not keep the compressor off during acceleration. The programing IN the ECM makes that decision from looking at the demands and the throttle position.
Pulling codes would really help..
Dave
 

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Cerato S Hatch Auto
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I've had a couple of cars with smallish engines (less than 1.5), and the A/C has never made much difference; probably takes less than 2kw to run the A/C, and I live in a hot climate.

If the A/C is actually draining "all of the power", that rubber drive belt must be working fairly hard. Any sign of wear at this point? Does the car go OK with the A/C turned off? Normal fuel consumption? I'd be inclined to look for some fault with the idling control when the A/C cuts in.
 

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2008 Rio LX, 2007 Honda Shadow (Bike)
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If the IAC is "stuck" (or gets stuck) at a higher RPM) it sure can cause problems with acceleration. The "special" BOSH plugs with out the outside electrode (fires in all directions) WILL cause problems with Spectras...I've seen it here.. They LIKE NKGs and they cost less also. The triple switch does not keep the compressor off during acceleration. The programing IN the ECM makes that decision from looking at the demands and the throttle position.
Pulling codes would really help..
Dave
If the iac is stuck open it would also cause high idle which isn't part of the complaint. The original post says that trouble begins coming off a stop. My brother is running the bosch specials you're talking about in his 06 spectra5 without issues, I'm not saying you haven't experienced an issue with them I'm just offering up my personal experience. NGK would be cheaper but he swears by the bosch. I didn't say the triple switch keeps the compressor off during acceleration. What I was speaking of was the feed to the ecm that indicates the ac clutch is engaged. As I said I'm not sure where that feed comes from on the spectra. You should re-read my post more carefully. If the iac was stuck open at idle it would have higher than normal rpms. when I said it should be out of the picture on acceleration, I mean it shouldn't be active. Since it doesn't have a high idle I cant believe that its stuck open as you suggest. If it was sticking at higher rpm it would maintain a higher than normal rpm at idle. Also, the iac is really an actuator, not a butterfly valve. The actuator operates a internal valve that directs air around the throttle plate. The throttle plate itself is the butterfly valve. There was really no reason to get defensive, just offering up some thoughts.
 

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2008 Rio LX, 2007 Honda Shadow (Bike)
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I've had a couple of cars with smallish engines (less than 1.5), and the A/C has never made much difference; probably takes less than 2kw to run the A/C, and I live in a hot climate.

If the A/C is actually draining "all of the power", that rubber drive belt must be working fairly hard. Any sign of wear at this point? Does the car go OK with the A/C turned off? Normal fuel consumption? I'd be inclined to look for some fault with the idling control when the A/C cuts in.
IAC stuck open= High idle (not in the complaint) possible acceleration issues

IAC stuck closed= Stalling at idle (not in the complaint) possible acceleration issues.

Sticking in between= A mix of symptoms.

The problem I have is the iac operates for other reasons besides just the ac, such as deceleration and power steering. These functions don't seem to be causing an issue, however maybe the post is lacking some needed info. If its stuck open you should see immediate improvement on acceleration and it should be pretty quick to improve if its stuck open as well after the trim adjustment. But again we would be looking for a high idle. I've seen cars do some weird things so maybe there's an iac problem I can't wrap my head around right now.
 

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2005 Blue Kia Spectra5 and a 96 Turbo Honda civic and a 99 subaru outback with a 2.5 rs turbo motor
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i did notice also that when its really really hot outside and when i have my AC on that car feels slughish and seems to drink alot more on gas. i get about 220miles to a tank when the gas lights cuts on. i calculated it my car gets about 20mpg 95d or higher when the ac is on mix city and highway driving and gets about 28 when its all highway and when its kool outside 80d or less
 

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2008 Rio LX, 2007 Honda Shadow (Bike)
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Its normal for your gas mileage to take a nose dive with the ac on. Running the compressor puts an added load that will consume more fuel. You may have other issues contributing to the issue but a drop in mileage is very typical.
 

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Pressure builds up in the system as the temp increases causing more drag.
Dave
 

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2005 Blue Kia Spectra5 and a 96 Turbo Honda civic and a 99 subaru outback with a 2.5 rs turbo motor
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is it normal for a 2005 kia spectra5 with 140xxx and aftermarket intake and free flow exhaust to get 20mpg? its killing my pockets. ohh and also Dave from now on everytime i replace a parts on my car i will record it so you can post it on here. i keep on forgettin to record and share. sorry
im replacing my idler pulley for my AC tonight i make sure to record it.
 

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2008 SpectraSX, 2014 Optima LX,2006 Jeep Liberty, Linux Mint Mate
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I get 23~27 around town but I'm lite on the gas pedal. I get 30~34 on the highway "if" I keep it under 70. I have an 06 4 door SX version of your "5". The idler pulley should be noisy "if" its bad. When you get it off...see if it spins freely...
You said "free flow" exhaust...What do you mean by that?? No Cats?? ...If so the ECM is changing the air/fuel mixture by monitoring O2 errors and that WILL effect your gas mileage. I would think in Wash DC you would be required to have all original pollution parts and have it inspected to get new "tags" yearly...
Dave
 

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2005 Blue Kia Spectra5 and a 96 Turbo Honda civic and a 99 subaru outback with a 2.5 rs turbo motor
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yeah i get 20mpg. and i think i should be getting around 28mpg but im not. what i meant is from the cat back straight pipe with a cheap retarded muffler that the previews owner installed.
 
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